Men in Grenada are believed to be dying at a faster rate than their female counterparts.
That analysis was brought to the attention of a number of stakeholders who attended last week’s National Consultation on Health, by the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) in the Ministry of Health, Dr. George Mitchell.
Dr. Mitchell disclosed that the rapid rate of deaths of men over women is an area that is of critical concern for the ministry and the nation.
According to him, the life expectancy for female is 73 years, while for men it is 69 years.
Dr. Mitchell said the country’s health profile has changed from the common health issues such as diarrhea, vomiting and belly aches to chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, stroke and cancer.
He said these are now the leading causes of death in Grenada.
Dr. Mitchell was making a presentation on the state of the country’s health
The CMO described Grenada’s health status as being S and S (Stable and Satisfactory).
He indicated that the country’s infant mortality rate was almost seven percent per one thousand births in 2010, while there has been a nearly zero maternal mortality rate.
Now that HIV/AIDS is a worrying factor to a number of countries, Dr. Mitchell said from since 2001 the country has seen fluctuations, peeking at around 2007.
The number of reported cases declined in 2008 and 2009, but the numbers went up in 2010 and 2011.
“We have strengthened our programmes to make sure that we correct this unfortunate trend,” the CMO said.
Dr. Mitchell was particularly concerned about the way in which people observe their hygienic conditions.
He said leptospirosis which is a disease carried by rats has been peeking on and off since 2007.
“It speaks to the fact that we need to be more vigilant at the community levels and be careful in terms of our basic hygienic techniques,” he said.
Dr. Mitchell said tuberculosis seems to be a re-emerging condition.
He said with the advent of HIV/AIDS tuberculosis has re-emerged in 2006.
However, he said there has been a steady decline since, with only a few cases being recorded in 2011.
Other health challenges include teenage pregnancy, and drug abuse.
Amidst the challenges now facing the Ministry of Health, Dr. Mitchell expressed concerned about the customer service given by the health providers.
He said he does not think many health care givers understand the importance of customer service given to those in their care.
Dr. Mitchell said while there are health professionals who are caring, and understand the issue, it is an area that needs to be improved.
“The concept of health that we’re trying to promote must begin with the individual. We have to start taking care of ourselves, we have to start looking inwards,” he said.